DISTRICT 3-2A DIV. I WEEK 5 REPORT: Forsan comes up just short in one-point loss to Kermit

Kermit 14, Forsan 13 — The Yellow Jackets shut the Buffaloes out in the second half and scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter to overcome a 13-8 halftime deficit and claim a dramatic one-point win. 

Kermit outgained Forsan 254-186 in the defensive dogfight, overcoming a 4-1 deficit in the turnover margin to score the victory.

Nate Gensler ran for a game-high 139 yards and a touchdown to lead the Yellow Jackets, who also got 103 yards receiving from Jadan Bejarano. The Buffs (4-1), meanwhile, were paced by Kevin Kligora, who rushed for 93 yards on 21 carries. Brooks Wright had a pick-six for the game’s first score, and Brycen Cervantes ran for Forsan’s only offensive TD. 

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DISTRICT 5-3A DIV. II WEEK 5 REPORT: Gaitan, Rasberry fuel Dublin past Florence

Dublin 34, Florence 23 — The Lions took care of business against the Buffaloes, outscoring FHS 21-14 in the second half to pull away for a two-score win.

Dublin (2-3) led 13-9 at halftime, before using a 14-0 run through the third quarter to create some distance. The Lions got a pair of touchdown passes from Kaden Gaitan to Dalan Rasberry, while Gaitan added a rushing score and Cameron Patton scored twice on the ground.

Florence, which finished with 355 total yards, was led by quarterback Ryland Carlile (10-24-1—139, 3 TDs), running back Jose Maldonado (36-164) and receiver Zakary Webb (8-85, 2 TDs.

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DISTRICT 8-2A DIV. II WEEK 5 REPORT: Collinsville, Celeste and Muenster race out to 1-0 district starts

Collinsville 26, Lindsay 0 — The Pirates took care of business against the Knights, limiting LHS to just 181 total yards in a shutout victory.

CHS, which improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in league play, put up 360 total yards (203 rushing, 157 passing) and outscored the Knights 19-0 in the second half to break open what had been a close game through two quarters.

The Pirates were led offensively by quarterback Logan Jenkins (18-31-2—157, 1 TD passing; 12-84, 2 TDs rushing), running back Rylan Newman (18-119, 1 TD) and receiver Carter Scott (5-85, 1 TD). Lindsay (0-5, 0-1) rushed for all but 40 of its yards and turned the ball over four times.

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District 4-3A DIV. I WEEK 5 REPORT: Brock blasts Boyd to earn first win of season

Brock 55, Boyd 6 — The Eagles broke into the win column in dominating fashion, blasting the Yellowjackets in the district opener for both teams.

Brock, which outgained Boyd 576-189, built a 27-0 lead by halftime and was never threatened after in improving to 1-4 on the year and 1-0 in league play. 

Tyler Moody passed for 253 yards, while the Eagles got strong rushing games from Brett Tutter (11-102, 1 TD), Reid Watkins (11-82, 3 TDs rushing; 2-70 receiving), Zachary Brewster (2-70, 2 TDs) and Cannon Stephens (4-52, 1 TD). The Yellowjackets (3-2, 0-1), meanwhile, were led by quarterback Braden McIntire (16-31-0—175, 1 TD passing) and receivers Mason Turner (6-93) and Aidan LeMasters (6-73, 1 TD).

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DISTRICT 10-2A DIV. II WEEK 5 REPORT: Hico snaps three-game losing skid

Hico 51, Frost 20 — Price Mullin rushed for 71 yards and two scores and Carson Keller rushed for 50 yards and two more touchdowns as Hico routed Frost in the district opener for both clubs. 

Keller also completed four of six passes for 148 yards an another TD as the Tigers (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak. 

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DISTRICT 5-2A DIV. I WEEK 5 REPORT: Bangs, Coleman and Hamilton open league play with victories

Bangs 49, De Leon 21 — Guy Powell rushed for 323 yards and five touchdowns on just 14 carries and added a kickoff return TD for good measure to lead the Dragons to an impressive district-opening win over the Bearcats.

Bangs, which rushed for 505 of its 583 total yards, led just 28-21 at halftime, but the Dragons took control in the second half to improve to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in league play.

In addition to Powell’s big game, BHS got 78 yards passing and 56 yards and a touchdown rushing from quarterback Kenny Cole. De Leon (3-2, 0-1), which finished with 543 total yards (286 rushing, 257 passing) was led quarterback Heston Jobe (18-27-1—257 passing; 14-107 rushing) and running back Kallen McIlvain (25-165, 3 TDs rushing; 1-27 receiving).

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DISTRICT 3-4A DIV. II WEEK 5 REPORT: Sweetwater, Snyder drop tough games

Clyde 29, Sweetwater 28 (OT) — The Mustangs fell just short in overtime, surrendering a game-ending two-point conversion to drop a heartbreaker to the Bulldogs.

Sweetwater (1-4) led 15-14 at halftime and held a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter, but Clyde rallied to tie the game by the end of regulation and answered a Mustangs touchdown in overtime with a TD and two-point conversion to claim the win.

Blake Carr led the effort for CHS, passing for 253 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 61 yards and another score. Sweetwater, which rushed for 237 of its 310 yards, was paced by Jadyn Forbes (3-6-0—21, 1 TD passing; 11-99 rushing; 1-17 receiving) and Jamarian Amos (20-88, 1 TD rushing; 2-16, 1 TD receiving). 

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DISTRICT 4-3A DIV. II WEEK 5 REPORT: Coahoma, Roosevelt, Stanton chalk up victories

Coahoma 21, Merkel 0 — Coahoma (4-1) extended its winning streak to four games behind 259 yards passing and three TDs from Boyd Cox. 

Austin Perkins was his favorite target, charting five catches for 121 yards and two scores. 

Coahoma limited Merkel to 260 yards in total offense while forcing three turnovers. 

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DISTRICT 2-4A DIV. I WEEK 5 REPORT: Brownwood throttles Connally, Big Spring outlasts Snyder

Brownwood 52, Waco Connally 21 — Ike Hall passed for 157 yards and a two touchdowns while rushing for 123 yards and two more scores to fuel the Lions to dominating victory over the Cadets.

Kolyn Anderson added 113 yards and two touchdowns rushing, while Thad Hinds received for 92 yards and two TDs as Brownwood (4-1) outscored Connally 28-7 in the second half.

For the game, the Lions outgained the Cadets 442-297, rushing for 285 yards in the victory. Connally, which gained all but 27 of its yards on the ground, was led by Kiefer Sibley, who rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.

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DISTRICT 2-3A DIV. II WEEK 5 REPORT: Brady wins, Early nearly upsets Burnet, TLCA falls

Brady 47, Christoval 27 — Hayden Baronet rushed for 170 yards and five scores and threw for 221 yards and two more TDs to lift Brady (2-3) to its second straight win. 

Leading 14-13 at the break, the Bulldogs blew the game open with a 21-0 third quarter that included Baronet TD passes to Mason Harris and Keegan Farris. He also scored on a 36-yard run to give Brady a 35-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

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DISTRICT 5-4A DIV. I WEEK 5 REPORT: China Spring, Alvarado, Life Academy all fall

Dallas Parish Episcopal 24, China Spring 16 — The Cougars (4-1) were held to only 302 yards in total offense while suffering their first loss of the year.

Sawyer Anderson threw for 128 yards and one score, Cedric Mays rushed for 96 yards and one TD and Derek Eusebio caught six passes for 88 yards and a score to lift Episcopal (4-1). 

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GAME REPORT: Odessa Permian pulls away late for 56-28 win over Cooper

ODESSA — The Cooper football team hung with unbeaten Odessa Permian for three quarters Friday at Ratliff Stadium, but the Panthers scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth period to pull away for a 56-28 win in the final nondistrict test for both squads.

Permian rushed for 311 yards and outgained the Cougars 541-274 for the game, but CHS took advantage of a special teams score and four Panther turnovers to stay within a touchdown at halftime (28-21) and at the end of three quarters (35-28).

Eventually, though, the home team’s ground attack was just too much for the Coogs, resulting in fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns from Juzstyce Lara, Rodney Hall and Jonathan Viscaino to turn a close game into a four-touchdown margin.

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GAME REPORT: Central hits Hail Mary on game’s final play to edge Wylie 63-61

SAN ANGELO — The Wylie football team piled up yards and points Friday night in its final nondistrict game against San Angelo Central. But in the end, it wasn’t enough as the Bobcats had a prayer answered on the final play of the game to edge the Bulldogs 63-61 at San Angelo Stadium.

With 40 yards to cover and one play to do it, Central quarterback Tyler Hill escaped what appeared to be a sure sack and retreated more than 20 yards into the backfield before heaving a Hail Mary to Ben Imler. Imler made a leaping catch near the sideline at the 10, split a pair of Wylie defenders and sprinted across the field to the end zone for the game-winning score.

That touchdown was the last of many wild momentum swings in a crazy game that saw the Bulldogs drop to 2-3 with their third consecutive one-score loss.

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GAME STORY: Defense gets key stops, offense rallies Stephenville to homecoming win

STEPHENVILLE — Entering Friday night’s homecoming game at Memorial Stadium against Wichita Falls Rider, Stephenville was unbeaten at 4-0 but allowing 46.5 points per game.

Against Everman in Week 2, the Yellow Jackets found themselves down by 21 points on multiple occasions before winning on a walk-off Hail Mary.

That experience paid off Friday, as Stephenville found itself in a 21-0 hole to the Raiders after just eight minutes. But the Yellow Jackets used a second-half rally to take a 43-42 heart-stopping win — their fourth one-score victory in five weeks.

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BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Comanche rallies from 14-point deficit to stun area power Albany

ALBANY — For Comanche, it had all the ingredients of a landmark win, including coming from behind and facing adversity to beat a perennial power on the road.

Comanche’s stunning 31-28 victory at Albany on Friday was the sort of win that second-year Comanche coach Jake Escobar had yet to achieve with the Indians — the sort of win that often signals the arrival of a program.

Sawyer Wilkerson rushed for 181 yards and two scores and the CHS defense forced five turnovers to lead the Indians (4-1), who overcame an early 14-0 deficit to get the win. 

Albany, which was missing four starters including quarterback Cole Chapman, fell to 3-2. The Lions, who were crippled by an interception in the end zone and a pick-six, were led by Adam Hill’s 128 yards rushing and two touchdowns. 

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GAME STORY: Abilene High stifles Monterey, opens district play with 37-7 victory

Fueled by a dominant defensive performance, the Abilene High football team opened District 2-5A Division I play with a comfortable win over Lubbock Monterey, blanking the Plainsmen until the final minutes of a 37-7 victory at Shotwell Stadium.

The Eagles, who held Monterey to just 154 total yards and 10 first downs, led 23-0 by halftime and never let the Plainsmen back in the game after the break.

AHS extended its lead to 37-0 in the fourth quarter with a pair of Antoine Rashaw touchdown runs, before the visitors finally got on the board with a 71-yard touchdown pass with just 1:32 remaining in the game.

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FEATURE: Fullen, Abilene High leaning on tried and true process as district play arrives

After watching his team play to a 1-3 record during the nondistrict portion of its schedule, Abilene High coach Mike Fullen would be the first to tell you that he’d prefer to have more wins heading into Friday’s District 2-5A Division I opener against Lubbock Monterey.

But if pressed on the issue, he’d also tell you that nondistrict record falls pretty low on his list of priorities.

As a process-minded coach who values wins in October, November and December over those in August and early September, Fullen’s primary focus early in seasons is to make sure his team is on schedule to play its best football when games matter most. And while the Eagles scheme and play every game to win, they know the ultimate success of their campaign will depend on their growth from Week 1 to Week 11, not their record the first four weeks of the season.

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EVAN REN: Second seasons were worth waiting for at Hamlin, Stamford, De Leon, Clyde and Comanche

A year ago, a sizeable group of first-year Big Country football coaches accepted a difficult challenge — taking over programs where the cupboard needed to be restocked. 

—Chris Evans inherited a Hamlin program lacking numbers and experience.

— Britt Hart took over a Stamford program that was so young, that several of his varsity players were less than a year removed from playing in their final junior high game. 

— Danny Dudgeon became the eighth head coach since the turn of the century at Clyde, where it is hoped he can build something long-lasting and stable. 

— Jacob Marwitz inherited a 1-9 team low on numbers, low on experience and low on confidence at De Leon. 

— Jake Escobar took on perhaps the most pressure-packed challenge, where he brought a spread offense to a Comanche program that had been successful running the wing-T.  It was a difficult about-face. 

Needless to say, 2021 wasn’t a banner season for any of these guys, who to a man, had to set a foundation for success before success could actually be tasted. 

Evans was 0-10, Hart was 3-7, Dudgeon was 1-9, Marwitz was 0-10 and Escobar was 1-9. Combined record: 5-45 (.100).

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FEATURE: Prolific passing attack fueling young Big Spring Steers to strong start

Photos courtesy of Cannon McWilliams

Things don’t always go the way you expect them to, so it’s probably worth a doff of the cap when a team coached by a guy named Cannon is firing the football all over the field.

Said mentor, Cannon McWilliams, leads the Big Spring Steers, who have been slinging it on offense, pretty much whistle to whistle, en route to a 3-1 record.

Following a 27-20 setback against Pampa in the season opener, the Steers have scored 51, 24 and 20 points in successive wins. And more often than not, they’ve embraced the notion that the surest way for them to get to the end zone is by air.

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel vs. Twitter Polls (Week 5)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-man games and select six-man games, in addition to the results of Evan Ren’s Twitter polls for each matchup.

For those interested in voting, polls go up on Monday night each week.

Disagree with our picks or the Twitter consensus? Let us know in the comments section below.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Comanche, Albany try to recapture their momentum (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 47-10, .824
SEASON TOTAL: 178-52, 773

For two straight weeks, the column has hit the mark on more than 80 percent of area picks, which is generally a sign that I’m dialed in. 

This week, the Big Country Preps Game of the Week travels northeast to Albany, where the Lions play host to Comanche in a final prep for district play for both clubs. 

While writing this, I can scarcely believe we’re at the season’s midpoint already, with most of our clubs playing their fifth games this Friday.  The annual football time warp is in full swing and it never ceases to amaze me after more than two decades in the business.,

Here’s this week’s forecast: 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK 

COMANCHE (3-1) at ALBANY (3-1) 

While I’m pleased to see Comanche taking a clear step forward under second-year coach Jake Escobar, I like the Lions to win this matchup, primarily due to defense.

To date, the Lions are allowing only 17 points per game and that’s while going up against some pretty explosive offenses.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT WEDNESDAY NIGHT PODCAST: Evan & Dan talk about the area’s top teams & biggest surprises

CAPITAL FARM CREDIT WEDNESDAY NIGHT PODCAST: Evan & Dan talk about the area’s top teams & biggest surprises, including Hawley, Albany, Cisco, Wylie, Stephenville, Brock, Clyde, Coahoma, Forsan, Coleman, De Leon, Hamlin and Stamford, Big Spring.

Continue reading “CAPITAL FARM CREDIT WEDNESDAY NIGHT PODCAST: Evan & Dan talk about the area’s top teams & biggest surprises”

GAME STORY: Abilene High stretches win streak to three with home sweep of Lubbock High

The Abilene High volleyball team continued its recent run of quality play Tuesday at Eagle Gym, sweeping Lubbock High 25-20, 25-20, 25-7 to improve to 3-1 in District 4-5A play.

The Lady Eagles, 12-14 overall, had one of their best offensive performances of the season, hitting .310 as a team to stretch their winning streak to three matches since opening league play with a loss to crosstown foe Wylie.

The victory kept AHS within a win of the district lead with two more matches remaining in the first half of district play.

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GAME STORY: Jim Ned gets 14th win in last 15 matches with five-set thriller

TUSCOLA — The Jim Ned volleyball team, which has only lost one match since Aug. 23, has not been afraid to play outside their classification in order to get stronger heading into district play.

Last week, that meant the Lady Indians hit the road and played up three classifications, getting swept by Class 6A Midland Legacy, before playing down two classes on Tuesday night in a classic trap game against Class 1A Veribest — which entered the match at Bill Thornton Arena as the fourth-ranked team in the state.

Through three sets against the Lady Falcons, it looked like the trap was in full effect and the Lady Indians were looking ahead to their district opener against San Angelo Grape Creek. In the fourth set, though, Avery Vinson took over and led the Lady Indians to a thrilling 25-21, 23-25, 23-25, 25-11, 15-12 come-from-behind win as Jim Ned improved to 14-1 in its last 15 matches, having lost only seven sets in that span.

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FEATURE: Clyde off to great start with the help of defensive specialist

Photos by Rachel Laughlin and Tony Brockway 

Clyde’s Chloe Ukle works best under pressure.  

The senior libero thrives when opposing teams send volleyballs hurling her way, sprawling all over the court for digs.   

“What I love about being a libero is the control that I have of the back row,” Ukle said. “Knowing that I am in control of what goes on in the back row pushes me harder.”  

Ukle’s defensive efforts are a key reason the Lady Bulldogs are 20-12 heading into Tuesday’s non-district finale against Glen Rose. Despite facing difficult competition, Ukle leads the Big Country with 5.4 digs per set and has tallied 457 digs for the year.  

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FEATURE: Young Wylie squad working to build consistency as district play ramps up

Last year, the Wylie volleyball team finished the season perched on hallowed ground, setting/spiking/toughing its way to a 32-14 record en route to the Region I-5A quarterfinals. 

For those keeping score at home, that’s three rounds deep in the playoffs — marking the program’s deepest run since making the jump to Class 5A.

While coach Shay Cox appreciated the accomplishment of her very bulldog-ish Lady Bulldogs, she also knew every time she reviewed the list of the 2021 graduating players that replicating that kind of success and sustaining the momentum this season was going to be a tall order.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Brady quarterback snags this week’s award

With Brady going into Friday’s game at Dublin without a win, our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week played a huge role in ending the drought for the Bulldogs. 

Hitting 15 of 23 passes for 321 yards and one touchdown was just the beginning for quarterback Hayden Baronet, who led BHS (1-3) to a 62-42 win. Baronet also rushed for 127 yards on 23 carries and five additional TDs, giving him 448 yards in total offense and direct hand in six scores. 

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DISTRICT 2-5A DIV. II WEEK 4 REPORT: Cooper wins wild one, Wylie drops shootout as league posts 1-5 record

Cooper 33, Lubbock Coronado 28 — The Cougars hit a 64-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining to edge the Mustangs in a wild one.

Cooper led 27-7 at halftime, but Coronado (1-3) came all the way back in the second half to take a 28-27 lead in the fourth quarter. Down to their final possession after forcing a punt with less than two minutes remaining, the Cougars got a long touchdown pass from Chris Warren to Jaylen Parker that was tipped by a defender before being caught for the winning score.

Cooper finished with 376 yards of total offense, led by Warren, who passed for 334 yards with five touchdowns to five different players. Coronado, which finished with 298 yards, was paced by quarterback Jett Carroll, who passed for 158 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 47 yards and two more scores.

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DISTRICT 2-5A DIV. I WEEK 4 REPORT: Eagles fall to Frenship on homecoming as league goes 3-4

Wolfforth Frenship 21, Abilene High 7 — The Eagles had another tough offensive game, falling to 1-3 with a two-touchdown loss to the Tigers on homecoming.

Abilene High outgained Frenship 290-285 yards, limiting the Tigers to 37 yards on 22 carries, but the Eagles could only put seven points on the board, scoring their only touchdown in the second quarter to pull within 14-7 at halftime.

Frenship was led in the win by quarterback Hudson Hutcheson, who passed for 248 yards and two touchdowns, and receivers Landon Hutcheson (15-120) and Tate Beeles (7-86, 2 TDs). AHS, meanwhile, got 211 passing yards for Dylan Slack, who threw one touchdown and three interceptions. Antoine Rashaw added 64 yards rushing on nine carries, and Ryland Bradford had a 65-yard touchdown reception. 

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